Enjoy Warm and Tasty Winter Vegetables

Enjoy Warm and Tasty Winter Vegetables

Just because the weather is cold shouldn’t keep you from enjoying in season fresh produce. Nature gives us a collection of its best winter vegetables that have proven to be flavorful. Winter root vegetables can contribute an interdependent, sweet flavor to a hearty winter soup recipe, like carrots, or sweet potatoes.

Roasting most winter vegetables brings out their best flavors. Even using complementary herbs and spices helps add some extra exceptional tastes.

Available In Season Winter Vegetables

Brussels sproutsAlthough Brussels sprouts are available year-round, their peak season is from September to February.

When looking to purchase them, remember to look for small firm sprouts with compact bright-green heads, and the smaller the head the sweeter the taste. Roasting Brussels sprouts lightly caramelizes their edges but keeps them tender inside.

To view a few recipes using Brussels sprouts one of the following links:

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon 

Warm Brussels sprouts and Dilled Potato Salad 

Brown Butter and Brussels Sprout with Fennel

At All Recipes (allrecipes.com) they call Broccoli the star vegetable in stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Broccoli can be purchased year round. But when in season, as a winter vegetable when roasted retains its entire flavor and even gains deliciously crisp bits when.

preparing broccoli to eatWhen asked the question – How Do You Describe Broccoli? – to a community of online people at answers.com, one member answered saying, “Broccoli is good chopped into small pieces or cut into larger piece and cooked until tender.

It’s delicious to eat as it is when cooked naturally and also in recipes.

The popular dish, broccoli and cheese is made with cooked, tender broccoli before draining and stirring in cheese until it melts and mixes in with the broccoli.

You can also make cheese sauces, which you serve, poured over the broccoli on a plate.

Either way it is cooked or served, broccoli is a favorite among vegetables and nutritionally powerful” (Answers).

To view a recipe using broccoli click here: Baked Garlic and Broccoli

The Sweet Potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family.

This species of plants are known commonly as the bindweed or morning glory family, which has more than 1,650 species of mostly herbaceous vines, but also trees, shrubs and herbs.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn SaladStuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

The sweet potato is a starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous root. There are about 1,000 species of sweet potatoes, with some varieties sold at market for food, while others are not for consumption, as they are poisonous.

The sweet potato is only distantly related to the common potato, though it is not part the nightshade family.

The website – “The Worlds Healthiest Foods” – has this to say about sweet potatoes when preparing to eat them, “It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable.

Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Of course, this minimal amount of fat can be very easy to include.

In our Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, for example, we include 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and with just this one tablespoon, each of our 4 servings for this delicious recipe provides 3.5 grams of fat (whfoods).

To view a few recipes using sweet potatoes click one of the following links:

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Southwestern Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

KaleKale is considered to be the most robust of the cabbage family. Its high nutritional worth and intense flavor make kale an exceptional addition too many vegetable recipes.

At Mind Body Green, Alison Lewis makes note of kale as “the new beef,” “the queen of greens,” and “a nutritional powerhouse”(MBG).

To view a few recipes using kale click one of the following links:

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup

Moroccan Three Bean and Kale Soup

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Leeks are winter root vegetable that looks much similar to onions, and to which they are also related. Their flavor is onion-like but much milder, mellower, and not overpowering, as onions sometimes can be.

The darker green parts have plenty of flavor. They can either be cooked longer then the root parts to tenderize them, or used when making homemade soup stock, like chicken broth base soup along with potatoes, carrots, and herbs.

They can also be eaten raw or joined with a salad of leafy greens to divulge a wonderful crisp crunchy flavor.

Link here for a recipe using leeks: Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken –  includes a video

Turnips are a a round, light-colored root related to the mustard family. Though the vegetable is grown for its eatable root, the top green parts are also enjoyed in salads.

Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern U.S. cooking, primarily during late fall and winter months.

Smaller leaves are preferred when boiling them in water, as the larger the leaf the stronger the flavor.

However, if you find yourself cooking with larger turnip greens, any bitter taste can be reduced by pouring off the water from initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water.

The natural sweetness of Parsnips comes alive when they’re roasted and caramelized.

The addition of fresh rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar makes a sweet, aromatic glaze.

Roasted parsnips make a great side dish for pork tenderloin.

Link here for a recipe using parsnips :  Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Belgian EndiveThe genuine Belgian endive is deeply rooted in its country of origin – Belgian, were it was discovered in 1830.

This compact white colored small cylindrical shaped leaf vegetable with light green tips is a tangy, but tender and delicious vegetable.

Some cooks add the leafy vegetable to soups, while others use it in salads.

Link here for more about endives discovery and for a recipe: Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken –  includes a video

Other winter vegetables that can still be found in your local market are…

Buttercup Squash – Collard Greens – Delicata Squash – Sweet Dumpling Squash – Winter Squash

What Others Are Reading:

Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - plated

Red pears have a high concentration of phytonutrient anthocyanin, which has anti-aging properties. This nutrient also promotes heart health and protects against cancer. Read pears are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin-C, potassium (not as nutrient dense as a banana), and copper.

Red PearsWe know that vitamin-C is needed for tissue growth, promoting healthy collagen, but we don’t hear enough of what copper is good for.

Copper is not just for hot water pipping in our homes, copper the kind that our bodies can assimilate, is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, and collagen as well.

While basil, found in the dressing of our featured recipe, is also great for skin and hair, fighting against some cancers, it also has that its antioxidants and volatile oils are a great assistance to the immune system.

The leaves of the basil, and oil alike, have antibacterial properties. Applied topically to wounds, basil leaves may eliminate bacterial infections, while enjoying basil in food, it can help combat viral infections, including colds, flu, and herpes.

Talking about basil, here is the recipe that will dress the salad, and it includes basil.

Basil Chickpea Miso Vinaigrette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons chickpea miso, room tempurature

1 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons lemon zest

juice of half a lemon

Basil ChickPea Miso Vinaigrette

Tear basil leaves without steams, and loosely fill one cup. Place oil, vinegar, miso, basil, garlic and lemon zest (we forgot the lemon zest, my bad) in a small jar. Screw lid on tightly and shack well until smooth, making sure miso is dissolved and mixed in well. Set aside.

Here is what you will need for the Red Pear and French Bean Salad.

2 lbs. French green beans, ends trimmed

4 small, ripe but firm red pears, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise ( seed, but do not peel)

1 cup chopped pecans

Wash beans and trim the ends. Cut beans in half. You can blanch the beans or use them raw. Blanch for about 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

Preparing Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Prepare the pears while the beans are blanching. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a large bowl. Cut pears using a apple slicer, and slice each wedge one time more. Place all pear slices into bowl with lemon juice, and mix to coat pears with juice. Coating them with lemon juice will prevent the pear flesh from oxidizing or turning brown.

Next, place the pecans and basil vinaigrette into a large mixing bowl. Place pears and beans into bowl and toss to mix well, making sure produce is coated well with vinaigrette.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - in a serving bowlAfter tossing to coat salad, turn into a large serving bowl.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - platedPlate and serve.

 

What Others are Writing About Across the Web:

Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad

Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad

Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad

First Published August. 4, 2014 – Updated August. 14, 2021

Broccoli and cauliflower are part of the cruciferous or mustard family.

In scientific terms, it is called the Brassicaceae family. It composes a wide array of plants that offer tons of health benefits.

One health benefit in particular is the vegetables have cancer fighting effects.

Scientific studies have shown possible associations between intake of cruciferous vegetables and the risk of cancer.

The cancers studied with this association include prostate, colorectal, breast, and lung cancers.

All studies were Cohort studies, including scientists from the Netherlands, Sweden, United States, and Europe ( source National Cancer Institute ).

To get the possible cancer fighting effects, eat 4 servings per week.

Read more about The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

So if you just decided to like cauliflower, there is no better time then right now and with such a great recipe: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad.

This salad can even be a meal in itself as it contains protein, with both the bacon and eggs included.

Enjoy the video.


Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad

4 bunches broccoli, chopped

½ head cauliflower, chopped

12 bacon strips, cooked and cut into 1 inch strips

1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/3 cup white onion, chopped

2 hard-cooked eggs, diced

1 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe to follow)

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic  vinegar

In a large salad bowl, combine the; set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar.

Add broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, tomatoes, onion and eggs.

Mix vegeatble/bacon miture with wet ingredients, till well coated. Plate and serve.

Watch the video for homemade mayonnaise, made with both olive oil and avocado oil.

What Others are Writing About Across the Web:

Orange Chicken Salad

Orange Chicken Salad

Salad usually comes before the main course. But you rather waste no time and prefer to eat the leafy greens at the same time with the main course dish. Here at Splendid Recipes and More, we feel the same way, and that’s way we have Salads as a Main Course. It is categorized rightly so, because it has leafy greens and includes a meat together on the same plate. Check out more of our Salads as a Main Course by linking here.

Making a meal in this way saves time, because you serve the salad and meat at the same time. Also Salads as a Main Course packs some protein, so you’ll leave the table feeling full.

Chicken breast in our opinion is one of the best top protein foods! 4 ounces (100 grams) of cooked chicken breast has about 23.5 grams of protein. It also contains minerals like magnesium, and potassium. Including vitamins-A, K, B-3, and B-6. It is simple to use cooked chicken breast cold for salads, and for hot meals. It is a meat that is easily digested.

Our featured recipe is Orange Chicken Salad, and here is what you will need.

1 pound large chicken breasts (about 3) skinless, boneless

1 cups orange marmalade jam

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional

16 ounces of mix greens: Spinach, Arugula, and Chard

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut and sliced chcickne breast meat for Orange Chicken Salad

Cut chicken into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and slice each piece in half  vertically.

prepaing sauce for Orange Chicken Salad

Using a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add jam, vinegar, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Mix all ingredients together and bring to a small simmering boil.

preparing sauce and chicken breast to cook for Orange Chicken Salad

Next add sauce to a large mixing bowl, and toss in chicken pieces. Mix together until chicken is well coated. Then pour into a baking pan. Use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl, getting  every last drop of sauce. Put in heated oven for 30 minutes or until meat is done, turning meat once.

Remove, and allow to cool about 5 or 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce into a large salad bowl (the sauce is your salad dressing). Next add greens, and mix until greens are well coated.

Orange Chicken Salad close-up

Plate the leafy greens and top with cooked orange chicken. Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of marmalade in center. Serve and enjoy!!

 

What Others are Saying About Chicken Salad:

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

This is an easy dinner idea in just 20 minutes. It is one of my “Salad as a Main Course” recipe because of mixing a meat with the leafy greens and other vegetables.

This meal is packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

This salad contains…

.52 g of protein

.13 g of total fat

.73 g of carbohydrates

.3 g of fiber

.41 g of natural sugars

It is low in salt, high in fiber, and cholesterol-free.

All of this in just one cup of what is in this meal: Arugula. The flavor of Arugula is peppery and  pungent. The salad also includes mint, lemon juice, orange bell pepper and all the rest that is in this fast and simple meal idea…you can’t go wrong with preparing and eating it.

Recipe:

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

3 cups (about 3/4 pound) diced, cooked smoked turkey breast

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup diced bell peppers (any colors)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cups arugula

Dressing

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (plus leaves for garnish)

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup tomato juice

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry (or balsamic) vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine turkey, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion in a bowl. Whisk all dressing ingredients in another bowl. Add dressing to turkey mixture and toss to combine. Divide arugula among 4 plates and top with turkey salad.

For more information about how food correlates to a healthy you visit: Health News Library

 

What Others are Saying About Turkey, Salads and Arugula:

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Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

Here’s a great recipe that will prepare in under 30 minutes. Though you will need to marinate your chicken first for 30 minutes to one hour depending on your intensity for citrus flavors. But once the meat is marinated, as I mention the rest takes under 30 minutes to prepare.

I found a great marinade recipe at She Knows Food & Recipes: Baja Citrus Marinade. The recipe calls for a Mexican beer, but I left that out. The following includes the beer if you wish to prepare the marinade with it.

Baja Citrus Marinade

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and process the mixture until combined. Pour the marinade over the meat of your choice, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to cooking ( I marinated the meat  for 1 hour).

You could also opt to replace the orange juice and zest with lime or lemon. I also replaced the canola oil (which is a seed oil and is the cause of inflammation in the body) with avocado oil.
Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Also this is one of my recipes I call –Salads as a Main Meal– as it contains meat.

The recipe I use is one I have -Smoked Turkey Black Bean Bell Pepper and Corn Salad-. I had some chicken breast I used in place of the turkey and I didn’t use the Mint dressing that goes with the smoked turkey salad, as I thought it would clash with the citrus marinaded flavored meat.

I just mix a little balsamic vinegar and avocado oil, with Himalaya salt (contains all trace minerals found in the salt mines) and black pepper.

The following is what you will need to prepare -Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl-. By the way I say Bowl, because I prepared this recipe for the family dinner, but as I went off  to work, I put mine in a bowl.

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

2 pounds (about 3) chicken breast, chopped 1-inch squares

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 cup cherry orange tomatoes, halved

1 cup diced bell peppers (any colors)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cups arugula greens

 

Marinate chopped chicken for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then cook in heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internal meat temperature.

In the bottom  of a large salad bowl add add desired amounts of olive or avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Next add chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and mix well with wet ingredients.

Place one to two hand fulls of arugula greens on a large salad plate and top with the meat mixture. Sever and enjoy!!

 

What Others are Saying About Marinated Meats and Salads:

 

Ranch Spinach Pasta Salad With Chicken Sausage

Ranch Spinach Pasta Salad with Chicken Sausage

Spinach is among one of the world’s healthiest vegetables. It is part of a class called cruciferous which is a vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals, and also contains concentrated health-promoting phyto-nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and flavonoids which provides powerful antioxidant protection. These antioxidants are good to find and expel the toxins we are exposed too on a daily bases.

Spinach as a cruciferous vegetable can find cancerous cells and expel them from the body.  To have this protection requires 4 servings per week. To have the same protection from any other vegetable would require 10 servings per day.

The chicken sausage we use in this recipe is minimally processed. It’s all natural and no preservatives added. In my opinion, it is the best chicken sausage I have had. The chicken sausage is pre-cooked and sold with four large links. Though I have found it uncooked in some stores packaged with 5 large links.

Ranch Spinach Pasta Salad with Chicken Sausage

7 oz. vegetable spiral pasta

1 tsp. Cajun spice or sub 1 tbsp. Lemon herb

½ cup Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (see note)

2 cups baby spinach

½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper

¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup carrots, cut julienne style

½ cup cucumber, diced

½ package Al Fresco Chicken Sausage Apple and Real Vermont Maple Syrup (2 links, remove casing, if using raw bought sausage cook according to package instructions).

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl; mix seasonings, yogurt, basil and lemon juice.

In a large bowl mix in pasta, sausage (option if using pre-cooked sausage: heat sausage in a skillet over medium heat) and other remaining ingredients; stir in prepared dressing until well coated.

Plate and serve.

What Others Are Saying About Spinach:

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